Ghost kitchens, more commonly known as virtual kitchens, have been growing fast across the U.S. and U.K for the past many years but have only recently started seeping into the Canadian market, thanks to the rise of delivery apps including Uber Eats and Skip the Dishes (via the National Post).
(Photo Credit: OBJ)
One prime example is George Kottas, who owns 15 restaurants in the Greater Toronto Area but none of them have a dining room or takeout counter. “I never thought in my wildest dreams not having a store presence would work. Now I have 15 stores open,” said Kottas, who uses Uber Eats and Skip the Dishes for deliveries.
Kottas, who stumbled across the ghost kitchen phenomena two years ago, is now getting ready to launch in Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal, and Ottawa. “My goal is to have a store every four-kilometres across Canada”, he says.
For now, Kottas has few competitors in Canada, said Uber Eats program manager Elyse Propis, who counts 50 ghost kitchens across the country. Most of those are restaurants with dining rooms or takeout windows that use their kitchens to run delivery-only businesses selling completely different food from their in-house eatery.
“Opening a brand new restaurant is risky and expensive and we are helping them spin a new delivery-only restaurant out of their existing kitchen in a way that is likely to succeed given our data shows there is demand for it,” she said.
Kottas’ Dekotas Group company currently offers burrito, bubble tea, Philly cheesesteak, poutine, pierogi, Middle Eastern and Greek concepts for delivery.